Comparative Theory Essay: Ethnohistory and The Postcolonial Perspective

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In The Houses of History, selected and introduced by Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, the different theories of the twentieth century are broken down and specifics are introduced about each theory. Historians use these theories to study certain aspects of history and to be able to compare two theories to each other and the problems each theory addresses must be identified. With all aspects of history having some sort of connection, it would be better to take a holistic approach to the history of different eras. As we first read in Arnold earlier in the semester, "History is above all else an argument (Arnold 13)." Therefore, to compare two theories of history, the argument must begin with the facts of the theory and what that theory is used for, and then argue where it might have flaws or not connect history together. Beginning with ethnohistory, which includes anthropology, the beginnings of the different studies of mankind are introduced, when the book then jumps to a postcolonial perspective the views of the future are pointed to the mistakes of the past. Each theory has a purpose to explaining the views and studies of different historians around the world. This essay will compare my views on ethnohistory combined with anthropology versus the views of postcolonial history. To start with anthropology, and outlining the timelines of mankind, one can start cumulating the facts around how humans have evolved throughout hundreds and thousands of years. Using anthropology as a theory of history is the ability to understand the social and cultural behaviors that connect the concept of human culture. As historians there are many benefits from using anthropology, studying the behaviors of human kind and all of its variations is a true... ... middle of paper ... ...d the study of linguistics has allowed postcolonial historians to get a view point from theses Indigenous cultures about the European influences they have encountered. Both of these theories benefit from each other, and are able to help historians elaborate on finding the facts and presenting them as a primary source. To consider these theories not to be main factors for historians would be a false statement, as historians in the twenty-first century, we must enable ourselves to use such theories because there are always issues to argue about and pulling from the past and engaging in it can complete our argument. Works Cited Arnold, John H. History a Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print. Green, Anna, and Kathleen Troup. The Houses of History: a Critical Reader in Twentieth-century History and Theory. New York: New York UP, 1999. Print.

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